Celebrating 11 years as a Medicare Specialist, October 2019
Theresa Cangemi CSA, CLTC
Office: 315.676.4933
Hi there!

Common question: Can you enroll in Medicare while you’re still working, or can you delay?

In the Health Section: I share an article about how to slow cognitive decline with coloring, which can also reduce stress and, help anxiety.

Keep reading!

Theresa Cangemi CSA, CLTC
"The Medicare Lady™" 
Can you enroll in Medicare while you’re still working, or can you delay?
Since the creation of Medicare in the 1960s, the percentage of older adults working today is the largest.
If you have a group health plan, you can enroll in Medicare when you qualify at age 65 (or under the age of 65 due to a long term illness or disability). But, when should you delay Medicare, and how do you avoid a penalty?

If you have retiree group coverage (Federal, State, or Union) through your employer or your spouse’s employer, you will have to check with the plan administrator, union rep, or H/R department to find out what the plan rules say or contract dictates. Each contract (contract negotiation) is different and benefits can and will be different that are being offered to retirees. The plan administrator will let you know if Medicare is primary. 
Note: Medicare is usually primary in this situation.

If you are still working (active employment) and have health coverage through your employer or your spouse’s employer, you will most likely be able to delay Medicare Parts A, B, and/or D without getting penalized, although you do need to be careful!!

There are other factors you need to know and you could be at risk and end up owing lifetime late enrollment penalties. Here are some of the rules:

👉 If the company you or your spouse works for has under 20 employees, Medicare is primary coverage. So, you would need to apply for Medicare Part A and B.

👉 If the company you or your spouse works for has 20 or more employees, group health insurance is primary coverage. So, you would not need to apply for Medicare Part A or B.

In this situation, you can apply for Part A (with group health insurance as primary coverage/ Medicare Part A (hospital) would be secondary coverage) and decline Part B (doctor/medical coverage).
BUT, If you have enrolled in Social Security (income) benefits and are eligible for Medicare (health insurance), at age 65 or older, then you should apply for Part A (hospital coverage) and can decline Part B until you are no longer working and need to sign up and add Part B benefits.

👉 If you get qualifying coverage through your domestic partner’s workplace, but aren’t married to him or her, and delay your Medicare coverage .... you could be faced with a lifetime late enrollment penalty.

👉 If your employer does not offer creditable prescription drug coverage (meaning coverage equivalent to Medicare) and you go at least 63 days without creditable drug coverage, you could be faced with a lifetime late enrollment penalty (when you finally enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan in the future).

There are more factors to these rules. Please call with questions.
Further Reading
Medicare.gov —   I have employer coverage
Medicare.gov —  Should I get Parts A & B?
What are these health benefits of adult coloring books? — is the hype real, and what are the health benefits of coloring books for older adults?
👉 Helps Promote Mindfulness and Fight Anxiety
One reason why adult coloring books are great for older adults is because they promote mindfulness. Mindfulness has been found to lessen stress, lower your blood pressure, and may even improve your immune system.

👉 Keeps Your Mind and Motor Skills Sharp
To keep our minds strong as we age, we have to engage them. Coloring trains our minds to focus and engages parts of our brain that otherwise may not be engaged. Creating art has even been shown to slow cognitive decline.

👉 Encourages Self-Expression
Coloring books allow you to make art in a controlled manner that still encourages artistic expression and self-expression. Older adults can benefit because art, art classes, and organized coloring can promote self-esteem and combat isolation, even in non-verbal older adults.
* This article is for information purposes only. I don’t recommend, support, or diagnose any featured writer or article. I am not a doctor. 

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